In Arkansas, one in 10 households currently do not have a bank account. Because of this, most families rely on expensive services to access their money and to monthly bills. Luckily, a new program called Bank on Arkansas+ is working to expand access to banking in these underserved communities. Southern Bancorp is one of the leading institutions helping launch the program with their new Opportunity Card. Watch the news report here.
In hopes of solving the issues which led to the financial crisis, a coalition of Californian cities has expressed interest in establishing locally-accountable, ethical banks owned by government bodies, known as public banks. Oakland joins San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia, and New York City along with New Jersey and Michigan in the quest to establish socially-responsible, government-owned financial institutions that can fulfill public missions faithfully.
Maryland has the highest representation of minority and women-owned businesses in the nation. However, those enterprises suffer disproportionately from being denied access to funding. And when they do access capital, much less is typically offered at higher interest rates, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency. How do we address this? Well, John Lewis, Executive Vice President of the Harbor Bank of Maryland, testified recently to the Senate that "community banks are the solution as they are essential to small business asset development."
The Community Reinvestment Act, passed in 1977, has encouraged investment in previously neglected neighborhoods, specifically helping minority communities. Now, the Trump administration is proposing changes to that law in the hopes of simplifying it. While many in the industry do welcome change, the NCRC's Jesse Van Tol explains how all this may be for the worse.
The Urban Institute invites you to watch a special live webcast led by Washington Post syndicated columnist Michelle Singletary. During the session, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers will delve into the myths and facts about credit, why those views are so persistent, and why credit building should be expanded for low-income Americans. The session will also debut a new video and fact sheet dispelling the myths of credit. The webcast will be live on September 18th from 2:30 PM-4:00 PM EST.
On the morning of Saturday, September 15th, FBT Bank & Mortgage hosted its second annual Give 'N' Get Outdoors event to support the White Hall Food Pantry. The drive encouraged attendees to donate food items for those in need. The joyous event featured many fun activities such as a raffle giveaway, free sandwiches, a bounce house for children, and music. Last year's event was a great success, with community residents donating six truckloads of non-perishable food items.
Pan American Bank & Trust has been selected by the nationally renowned industry publication, American Banker, as one of the Best Banks To Work For in 2018 nationwide. "Being selected is a tribute to the strength of our culture, including our commitment to each other, our clients and our communities," stated Frank C. Cerrone, President & CEO of Pan American Bank & Trust. CDBA members FNBC Bank, BankPlus, and Community Bank also make the list.
Urban Partnership Bank recently announced that they have reached an agreement to merge with Providence Bank & Trust, a $628 MM assets bank with 12 locations throughout the Chicagoland area and Northwest Indiana, pending regulatory approval. Urban Partnership Bank was originally founded in 2010 to take over the Shore Bank franchise.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is currently asking the public for input regarding how banks should be graded on their lending to communities in need. The answers they receive will ultimately help inform the upcoming revamped Community Reinvestment Act policy. While most agree that the 40-year old law needs updating, opinion differs in the various approaches to how.
Several groups across the country are identifying special niches in which to operate de novo banks. Before the financial crisis, many de novos were built to grow and eventually sell. Now, that model is changing towards permanence. Becoming well known in a niche could be a way for new banks to add value and stand out in a competitive market. In this effort, these groups are striving to create banks for niche communities such as veterans and minorities.